Tony Award-winning Broadway musical comedy Avenue Q last night (28 June 2006, previews from 1 June) received its UK premiere at the West End’s newly refurbished and renamed Noël Coward Theatre (formerly the Albery).

The offbeat show – billed as a musical form of Sesame Street meets South Park - features a cast of just seven humans, three of them playing humans, the rest manipulating multiple puppets that include a closet gay puppet called Rod, a porn-addicted puppet called Trekkie Monster, and a puppet looking for love called Kate Monster (See News, 17 Feb 2006).

TO SCROLL THROUGH ALL OF THE AVENUE Q 1st NIGHT PHOTOS,
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For 1st Night Photos, our Whatsonstage.com photographer was on hand at the Noël Coward Theatre and at the post-show party at Mint Leaf bar and restaurant, where other guests included: David Hasselhoff, Derren Brown, Michael Ball, Elaine Paige, Anneka Rice, Ruby Wax, Graham Norton, Eve Best, Trinny Woodall, TV comedienne Maria McErlane, Ashley Brown (soon to be Mary Poppins on Broadway), Gavin Creel and Christopher Biggins as well as members of the Avenue Q cast and creative team.

Avenue Q has music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx and a book by Jeff Whitty. It’s directed by Jason Moore, with puppets conceived and designed by Rick Lyon, and scenic design by Anna Louizos. The London cast features original Broadway cast member Ann Harada along with Julie Atherton, Jon Robyns, Giles Terera, Simon Lipkin, Clare Foster and Sion Lloyd. The musical is produced in the West End by Kevin McCollum, Robyn Goodman, Jeffrey Seller, Vineyard Theatre, the New Group and Cameron Mackintosh.

-by Terri Paddock